Most job seekers think that the end of the year is the worst time to look for a job. This is because many view this as downtime, when not much hiring is done. Though this all may be true, this is the very time when a strategic job seeker will shift their search into high gear. While everyone else is taking time off to celebrate the holidays and prepare for what they’re going to do next year, be wise and get a head start now. Consider these end-of-the-year strategies for boosting your job search.
It’s time on, not time off …
Over the next few weeks, hiring managers and employers will get significantly less e-mails and phone calls from job seekers. This is because many have decided to wait until the new year. This is your chance to capitalize on the relaxation of others. Though hiring may be slower during the weeks surrounding Christmas and New Year’s Day, it doesn’t mean that the process for reviewing and considering candidates has stopped. There are many positions waiting to be filled by the right candidate. That candidate could be you! Spend some time over the next few weeks refreshing your resume and getting it in the inbox of key stakeholders. Even if they’ve taken some time off for the holidays, they’ll recognize your persistence despite the lackadaisical approach of others.
‘Tis the season … to network
The festive nature of the holidays means that there will be many celebrations, holiday parties, lunches and dinners with colleagues, friends and co-workers. The relaxed atmosphere of holiday functions can be the perfect time to discuss career goals, network with potential employers, and connect with other professionals. If you aren’t working or a looking for a career change, consider tagging along with a friend or family member to one of their employer’s holiday functions. This is a great way to meet new people who are doing just the kind of work that you might want to do. Also look into attending the holiday parties of professional organizations like your local Black MBA chapter or NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers) chapter. Striking casual conversation at one of these events could prove to be a power move for your career. Note: Be sure to keep your consumption of holiday spirits to a minimum and maintain your professionalism at all times.
New year, new approach …
Take the time over the next few weeks to evaluate your career strategy and progress over the last year. Conduct your own self-assessment by listing what has worked and what hasn’t worked as it relates to reaching your career goals. Then decide what you’re going to do differently or the same in the New Year. Ditch the things that haven’t worked and try something new. If you’ve received very few responses using your current resume, consider having it professionally tailored in the New Year. If you feel like you bombed your last few interviews, practice your interviewing techniques with a qualified career coach. If your network hasn’t expanded much, commit yourself to broadening your rolodex and strengthening new relationships with like-minded professionals. Don’t enter 2012 using the same methods of reaching your career goals that you did in 2011. A fresh, new approach could be just what your career needs.
Aisha Taylor (@realTAYLORmade) is co-owner and chief consultant at TAYLORmade Professional Career Consulting, a Web-based, full-service career consulting company committed to “equipping, preparing, and empowering today’s professional” globally. Check out her weekly insights on job-seeking and interviewing success every Friday on BlackEnterprise.com.